While the artists included in Reminisce come from very different backgrounds, they are united by their shared desire to push the bounds of portraiture, one of the oldest and most common genres of art
Hollis Taggart Contemporary is pleased to announce Reminisce, a group show featuring new and recent work by Paul Anagnostopoulos, Jonni Cheatwood, Katie Hector, Justine Otto, and Adrienne Elise Tarver. Exploring the depth and breadth of contemporary portraiture, the exhibition celebrates the myriad ways identity can be expressed and portrayed through both painting and sculpture. Reminisce is the first exhibition in Hollis Taggart’s recently expanded flagship at 521 West 26th Street curated by Paul Efstathiou, the gallery’s Director of Contemporary Art, since the gallery consolidated its main Chelsea and satellite Southport, CT, locations. The exhibition will be on view on the second floor of the gallery from March 23 through May 6, 2023, with an opening reception on Thursday, March 23, from 5-8PM.
While the artists included in Reminisce come from very different backgrounds, they are united by their shared desire to push the bounds of portraiture, one of the oldest and most common genres of art. Featuring both portraits of specific people as well as of anonymous individuals, the faces and figures in Reminisce at times pose and directly confront the viewer, and at others look away or are blurred, withholding direct eye contact. There are figures pictured in domestic spaces and in elaborate landscapes, as well as some who have become one with their surroundings. Taken together, Reminisce offers a view into the diversity of approaches to portraiture taken by young artists today. Details on each artist’s work follows below.
“The five artists in Reminisce represent the cutting edge of contemporary portraiture, and I am so excited to be returning to New York City with a show of their most recent work,” said Efstathiou. “Following more than two successful years in Southport, CT, I am looking forward to returning to Manhattan to curate Hollis Taggart’s contemporary division and to present it alongside the gallery’s stellar modern and more historic programming. Looking back at one of the oldest artistic genres through a contemporary lens, Reminisce is the perfect show to celebrate the consolidation of the gallery’s divisions into one flagship space.”
Working in acrylic and oil painting, the Greek-American artist Paul Anagnostopoulos (b. 1991 in Merrick, NY; based in New York, NY) reexamines and reclaims Greco-Roman imagery to celebrate queer intimacy and storytelling in the contemporary moment. His paintings combine figures from ancient art, queer erotica, and life drawing in fantastical landscapes that transcend time. Reminisce will feature new and recent paintings by Anagnostopoulos as well as new terra cotta vases by the artist, in which he updates the traditional form with vibrant scenes of gay romance and melancholy.
Jonni Cheatwood (b. 1986 in Thousand Oaks, CA; based in Los Angeles, CA) is a self-taught painter who mixes oil, oil sticks, acrylics, and textiles to create characters that are at once unrecognizable and universally relatable. Cheatwood’s painted scenes incorporate found textiles, resulting in unexpected textures and shapes that reference both interior and exterior spaces. Reminisce will feature Cheatwood’s most recent works, including Mama T’s Wall O’Crosses (2023), a painting reflecting the complex web of relationships between people and nature that encourages viewers to contemplate their own place within this interconnected system.
The works of Katie Hector (b. 1992 Lawrenceville, NJ; based in Los Angeles, CA) are composite portraits in which she layers bleach and dye, building up and erasing her materials to create blurred figures that have a glowing and almost ghostlike effect. Referring to her portraits as “allegories for longing, intimacy, and grief in response to isolation and dissociation,” the three works in Reminisce were all made this year, and reflect upon contemporary feelings of isolation and dissociation within our collective image-dominant culture.
The paintings of Justine Otto (b. 1974 in Zabrze, Poland; based in Hamburg, Germany) straddle abstraction and figuration, with hints of faces and figures emerging from abstract shapes and forms. Reminisce will feature both individual and group portraits by the artist, demonstrating her ability to apply her unique visual language to detailed studies of individuals as well as elaborate populated scenes. Reminisce will include new and recent paintings by the artist. Otto has been represented by the gallery since summer 2022.
Returning to Hollis Taggart for the first time following the successful two-person exhibition History Reclaimed in early 2020, Adrienne Elise Tarver (b. 1985 in NJ; based in Brooklyn, NY) will present recent works in which she continues to engage with the invisibility and complexity of Black female identity. Reminisce includes two large-scale collage works in which the artist uses water and the tropics as a starting point to reflect on the mythology of origin stories and histories of displacement of the Black diaspora.
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